A5 Flyer




Properly Loading Your Speargun – Band Size, Load Assists, and More

Properly loading your speargun can be a challenge. There are a couple techniques and tools that make loading a speargun easier. There are also different material option of bands that can make loading your speargun bands easier or harder. 

Proper Loading Technique

Most spearguns can be loaded using proper technique rather than brute force. Trying to load a speargun through brute force alone can result in some challenges. Loading a speargun requires a few muscle groups that are not the most common exercises in normal life. See this video on proper speargun loading technique for rear handle spearguns.

Band Length

The band length is the biggest factor that makes a band difficult to pull back. That being said, your spear shaft won’t hit the fish hard enough to penetrate without the right length spear shaft. The optimal stretch for a speargun band is 350% stretch. The formula to find the length your bands should be is:Neptonics Custom Power Bands

This formula applies to all the different diameter bands. Making your bands stretch more than 350% doesn’t dramatically increase the power you are adding to your spear shaft. Making longer bands reduces the power to the spear shaft. If you reduce the power of your bands too much you won’t be able to shoot through your fish. 

Band Diameter

There are several thickness band options available for your speargun. The thickness of the bands determines the amount of stored energy in the bands. 9/16” (14mm) bands store approximately 90 pounds of force per band. 5/8” (16mm) bands store about 110 pounds of force per band. 3/4” (19mm) bands store 130 pounds of force per band. The challenge with bigger bands is it takes that much force per band to load them. Some divers prefer to have a larger number of easier bands, other divers prefer one hard to pull band. Past injuries or surgeries may impact your choice on bands. Make sure your speargun is designed to accept your band diameter of choice before purchasing. Some muzzles may not be able to accept some larger band diameters. 

Small ID Bands

In the past few years Small Internal Diameter (ID) bands have increased in popularity. The idea behind them is the bands have more rubber inside them, which adds more stored energy to smaller bands. This makes the bands a little harder to load than the standard ID bands. Many people feel their spear accelerates faster as a result of the smaller diameter bands.

Load Assists

Load assists are particularly helpful if you have had some type of shoulder injury or surgery. They are also beneficial for loading very long spearguns or roller spearguns. The idea is you can hook the load assist to the band’s wishbone and load the load assist to the spear notch. Then you can finish the band load with the band already partially loaded.

Cheater Tabs

Some spear shafts can be customized to have additional loading tabs added further forward on the spear shaft. These are supposed to work in a similar way to the load assists, in that you partially load your speargun in order to get into a better position to complete the load. They are frequently called ‘cheater tabs’ because they make it easier to load the speargun. The term is is just so guys can give each other a hard time. In reality they help folks that have had injuries or surgeries that would otherwise keep them from properly loading their spearguns. 

Mentor

Mentoring New Freedivers – Why Its Important to Bring New People Into The Sport

Freediving and spearfishing are rapidly growing in popularity all over the world. It makes sense, these sports are too much fun not to participate in. The simplicity of holding your breath and harvesting your own food is an easily appreciated activity. With all that being said, there are defiantly some learning curves to freediving and spearfishing. Mentoring new freedivers is an integral part of growing and improving the sport. Finding a good mentor or instructor makes a huge difference to the safety and level of enjoyment from diving.

Why We Need To Grow The Sport

With the sport growing the way it is, we need to make sure it grows the way we want it to. It is easy for experienced divers to brush off new divers as a nuisance. In some respects they are. But they are the future of the sport, and if we neglect new divers they won’t learn the etiquette that we hope to see in every diver. Keep that in mind next time you meet someone starting out and think about showing them the ropes.

How To Approach Mentors

If you are new to freediving or spearfishing there are defiantly a couple ways to meet new people that can help you learn what you are doing. The first path into the sport is to take a freediving course. Not all instructors are made equally,  so ask questions and get a feel for the instructor before signing up. The most important in a good instructor is their ability to convey information in an accessible way. You should also seek out a safety conscious instructor. Beyond that, just try and find an instructor with a style and attitude that meets your comfort.

Clubs and Organizations

An instructor can also be a wealth of knowledge about resources and groups in your area for free divers. Clubs and training groups are one of the greatest methods of finding a good group of divers and potential mentors. The best practice for people getting into the sport is to accept that you have a lot to learn. That means you shouldn’t act like you know everything about the sport because you took on two or three day freediving course last weekend. There are aspects of diving that will never be covered in a course. Be willing to learn from other divers, but always remember the safety aspects of your free dive course in everything you do.

Dive Shops and Charters

Dive shops and the dive trips they host are another great way to to meet new divers. The charter boats themselves also offer a great opportunity to meet other divers and potential mentors, especially on split trips. Many shops and charters offer the opportunity to take courses or guide you on a trip. Additionally, dive shops tend to attract other divers. You can often find people willing to assist you in these locations.

The Mentor and Mentee Relationship

Mentor and Mentee relationships tend to develop organically. It would be a little awkward id a new diver just walked up to someone with more experience and just said “Hey, would you like to be my mentor?”. Typically these things start with a few questions about how to do something better, or tips on improvement. Be open to critique and suggestions. 

How To Mentor

Once you develop some experience it is easy to get in your own rhythm with your group of divers. Remember you didn’t get to that point by yourself. When a newer diver approaches you don’t be a jerk. It sounds simple, but just go onto any forum on the internet and see the toxic environment that tends to develop around people asking questions because they are new. Just be a decent person and help new people out form time to time. I’m not saying you need to take every new person that asks out on your boat to mess up your day. There defiantly needs to be a balance. Just remember that we do want the sport to grow. With that said, the best way to get it to grow the way we want is to help guide it in that direction. Mentoring new freedivers can end up being one of the more rewarding experiences within the sport.

Be Courteous to One Another

The short version is to just be nice to one another. Whether you are starting out or have several decades of experience just try to be helpful to one another.

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Speargun Safety – The Basics 

Why Speargun Safety is Important 

Spearfishing is one of the most fun sports you can participate in. That being said, there are risks involved. Speargun safety is one of the most fundamental aspects of preventing spearfishing accidents. New divers always think that their greatest risks are from sharks or other environmental issues, but the reality is your greatest risks come from other divers. Every few months there seems to be a diver that is shot with their own or another divers speargun. There are a couple rules you can impose on yourself that will prevent any problems with this. 

The Basic Rules

    • Never load a speargun out of the water
    • Do not fire a speargun out of water
    • Never point a speargun at anything you do not want to kill
    • Keep you finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot
    • Know what is behind your target
    • Ensure there are not tangles in your rigging
    • Never rely on the speargun safety

A Better Breakdown

Here is a more in depth breakdown of why these rules are so important.

Use Out of The Water

Never load or fire a speargun out of the water. Spearguns need water resistance to function properly. The amount of force stored in the bands is capable of shooting a spear up to 20 feet underwater. These same bands out of the water can launch these spears over 200 feet. There is no safe way to control that kind of shot. 

Speargun Safety Compared to Firearm Safety

Most of the other rules are taken from basic firearm safety, but the same rules apply with spearguns. It stands to reason that you can’t shoot your buddy if you never point your speargun at them. That means never pulling the trigger of a fish directly between you and your buddy. Accidentally hitting you dive buddy with a spear is much less likely if you keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot. That being said, The trigger can get caught on tons of things in the underwater environment. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain control of your speargun, especially if it is loaded.

Speargun Specific Considerations

Tangles in the shooting lines and bands are a major concern. This can be catastrophic because of the amount of force involved and extremely dangerous to all the divers in the vicinity. Always load your speargun properly.

Speargun Safeties

The last key element is to never rely on your spearguns safety. Speargun safeties are notorious for failing. Many custom gun builder do not even bother installing them into their spearguns because they can be so frustrating.

Co2 Tables

Freedive Training: Cardio, Intervals, CO2 and O2 Tables

Freevive training can be a complicated process for many people. Just about every dive will agree that the best way to train for breeding is to freedive. Nothing beats in water experience. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or access to be in the water as much as we would like. Fortunately there are several ways to train for freedivng outside of being in the water. It should be noted that these training techniques try to help the same muscle groups and mental skills that are helpful in freediving. Remember, never train freediving in the water without a dive buddy that understands rescue protocol.

Cardio: How Endurance Improves Freediving

There are a lucky group of people that actually enjoy cardio. Those people are widely considered crazy by the rest of us. The rest of us just need to grin and bear it when we are doing cardio and recognize that doing some of it will help us enjoy other hobbies. The biggest benefit of cardio in freediving is building up endurance. There is nothing worse than getting in the water in a strong current and struggling to be able to dive because you are running out of energy on the surface. Implementing a regular cardio routine has untold benefits to allowing you to enjoy a long day in the water. Some great activities that help also build up you leg muscles are swimming, biking, and of course running.

Intervals: Improving Recovery and Anaerobic Exercise

If there is anything more unpleasant to train than cardio it has to be intervals. It takes the unpleasantness of cardio and magnifies it with the feeling like your heart and lungs are going to explode. For those of you unfamiliar with Interval workouts the more familiar term is sprints. Sprints can be applied to any of the previously mentioned cardio exercises. Basically just push yourself further than you can sustain.

If you are running you can do distance intervals or timing intervals. Runt to a light pole, walk to the next light pole, or run 30 seconds then walk 60 seconds. Swimming can be swimming hard for a lap, recover for a lap. This process is designed to spike your heart rate and helps train your body to recover from anaerobic exercises quicker. Anaerobic exercise is any exercise that uses more oxygen than your body can replace in the amount of time the exercise continues. You can understand how this type of exercise could be helpful I training for freediving.

CO2 and O2 Tables: Training the Mind to Accept Discomfort

CO2 and O2 tables are useful tool in getting your body used to holding its breath. They eat h work in different ways to improve this goal.  

CO2 tables focus on getting a build up of CO2 in your body. ?This helps your body become accustomed to that discomfort that makes your mind think you need to breathe. It is not a lack of oxygen that makes you think you need to breathe, but the build up of CO2. By regularly exposing your body to increased levels of CO2 it pushes your mental limits of what your body considers normal. The method of doing this is typically to hold your breath for a consistent amount of time and to reduce the amount of time you breath up before holding your breath.

O2 Tables work on a similar principle but in an inverse way. O2 tables allow for a more gradual buildup of CO2 by having a consistent breath up and holding your breath for longer and longer intervals. 

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Freediving Safety – The Buddy System and Spearfishing

In all underwater sport it is a safe practice to participate in the buddy system. Two or three divers helping one another is significantly safer than an individual diving on their own. The buddy system improves dramatically when you communicate expectations of buddies in the water ahead of time. If done correctly, the buddy system can even help your group land more fish. 

How the Buddy System Saves Lives

The most important reason to use the Buddy System is the fact that is can and does save lives. The greatest risk that free divers and spearos face while diving is shallow water blackout. If you are unfamiliar with this term you should take a freediving course to educate yourself on the risks of freediving. Almost all shallow water blackout incidents occur at the surface or within 15 feet of the surface. That means an attentive dive buddy can prevent almost all potential shallow water blackout fatalities if they know how to act in this emergency. Again, if you haven’t already  you should take a freediving course to learn the skills necessary to save yourself or your dive buddy.  

Implementing and Improving It

Any group of friends is going to have different strategies in their given dive location. There can be mixed skill levels, or separate goals in any given group. Communicating expectations before you get in the water is a valuable practice. 

Two Up, One Down Method

Some groups prefer to use the Two Up, One Down method in place which allows someone to always be underwater. As the name implies, you have one diver conducting a dive. The second person is acting as the dive safety and doing their breath-up. The third diver is conducting their recovery after their last dive. This is a good system to implement in a group of newer divers, or if the group is diving in deeper water where you may need longer recovery times. 

One Up, One Down Method

The One Up, One Down Method is also popular. It allows for a smaller amount of diver pressure in the chosen dive site. This does require both divers to act as more attentive dive buddies and to multi-task a little more. To do this method properly the safety needs to stay at the surface with the recovering diver for a minimum of 30 seconds to ensure the diver does not blackout. This is a better practice for shallower water, where you have shorter recovery times. A proper timing device makes this method even safer. It is helpful to have some type of dive computer to make sure you and your dive buddy are doing proper recoveries. 

How the Buddy System Helps Land More Fish

If you thin, about spearfishing as a group activity, as you should, working as a team helps land more fish. There are countless examples of how working as a team does this, but we will touch on a few common situations. 

Rocked-Up Fish

It is very common for a diver to take a long shot on a fish at the end of their dive. It is not always the best practice, but sometimes it’s the shot you get. These shots often turn into a fish that goes into a rock, or ledge, or inside whatever structure is nearby. If you are diving by yourself (Don’t do that) you have to come to the surface and do a long breath-up before  you can safely dive back down. In that time the fish can work its way off the spear shaft or get taxed by another creature. If your dive buddy is right there on the surface they can  help pull your fish out of the rock for you. You owe them one hell of a thank you afterwards because they just used one of their dives to help you, but that’s what good buddies do. 

Sharks and Other Creatures

If you take the previous situation but you add sharks or other animals that want to take your fish you can have some challenges if you are by yourself. A good buddy can help fend off these tax collectors by putting themselves between the animal and your fish. Typically acting aggressively towards these animals helps keep them at bay. It is far from a guarantee, but it does usually help land the fish. There is significant risk involved in putting yourself between a predator and a potential food source. This is not a paragraph recommending this method, it is just explaining something some divers do.

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The Importance of Not Drowning – How to Properly Weight Yourself

The first thing you should consider is to take a freediving course from a qualified instructor. This article does not in any way, shape, or form replace proper training. The article is simply going over some basic weighting principles to help increase safe freediving and spearfishing practices. This article isn’t designed to teach you every element of how or why you need to be properly weighted. It is just a quick article about the mechanics of being properly weighted.

Why Proper Weighting is Important

The reason you should always be properly weighted while freediving is the risk of shallow water blackout. Blackouts are one of the biggest risks we face as freedivers. This article is not going to go into the details of how, why or what happen during a shallow water blackout in great detail. That being said, the result of a shallow water blackout is temporary unconsciousness and a passive exhale (loss of control of the airway) at the surface. The combination of these two things put a diver at great risk of drowning. It also allows us to plan on how to weight ourselves on the surface. We want to float at the surface after a passive exhale. 

How to Determine How Much Weight You Need

The best way to determine the amount of weight you need on your weight belt is to start small. Every diver is different and the amount of weight you need is different between salt and fresh water. The thickness of your wetsuit is also a factor in how buoyant you are. That means a thicker suit will need more lead weight to ballast a diver. It is a good idea to have a few solid weights and possibly a few quick weights to allow for quick adjustments in the water. 

At the surface start with a few pound of lead on your belt and do a passive exhale. A passive exhale is just a light exhale, like a normal breath. Don’t try and blow all the air out of your lungs and see if you sink. Without kicking your fins you should be floating roughly at eye level, or all least that is your goal for proper weighting. You will likely need to make small adjustments to get to this point in the water.

How To Double Check

Another way to confirm you have the correct amount of lead weight on your dive belt is to dive down to 30 feet and see if you are neutrally buoyant. If you are sinking like a stone at that depth you are probably over weighted. If you find yourself floating up to the surface without kicking you might need to add a few more pounds of lead.

Again, if you need this article you should reach out to a qualified freedive instructor and get certified to freedive. The information in a freedive course will help make you a better and safer diver, not to mention a better dive buddy.

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Preparing For Dive Trips – Building Your Freediving Checklist

Proper planning prevents poor performance. Having a solid freediving checklist, whether mental or written is a great tool for helping ensure you have a good trip. Before every trip you will want to double check that you have everything you may need for your dive trip. There is nothing worse than getting 10, 20, or even 100 miles offshore to realize you only have one dive fin. It makes for a challenging day of diving for sure.

The Basics

For essential pieces of gear it is not a bad idea to keep a spare in your dive bag. This may not be realistic for some pieces of gear given size or expense. It does make a lot of sense to keep a spare mask, snorkel, and weight belt in your gear bag. A spare pair of carbon fiber fins may be out of the cards, but a spare pair of plastic fins may be more realistic. The same challenge persists from keeping a spare speargun with you. That may be unrealistic while you are starting out, but a spare shaft may be more reasonable. There are only a few unfortunate situations where a spare wetsuit would be necessary. Remember to double check your freediving checklist and equipment before any dive trip. 

The Specialized Equipment for a Freediving Checklist

Some equipment just takes up a lot of space or makes a dive boat cluttered or disorganized. As a result you may not want everyone on the boat to bring a spare set of something. It may make more sense to have a spare for the boat instead. Things like floats, floatlines, or other blue water spearfishing gear. That means you may need a personal checklist as well as a communal freediving checklist with your dive buddies. 

Your specific style of diving may require different equipment than is listed below. You may need to make your own judgement calls on what you need or want in you kit. Every diver has their own preferences. 

Here is a version of a freediving checklist you may find helpful:

Single Day Dive Trip Checklist (Basics)

Item

Quantity
Mask

2

Snorkel and Keeper

2

Weight Belt and Weight

2

Wetsuit or Rash Guard

1

Fins`

2

Booties (Pair)

2

Speargun or Pole Spear

2

Gloves (Pair)

2

Dive Bag

1

Flashlight (Torch)

1

Rigging Kit with Plyers

1

Trauma Kit/ First Aid Kit

1

Measuring Tape (for measuring fish)

1

Bluewater Dive Trip Addendum

Float

1

Floatline

1

Break-Away Adapter

2

Flasher Float

1

Flasher Rig

1

Shore Dive Trip Addendum

Float with Dive Flag

1

Floatline

1

Rigged Kelp Clip (in applicable locations)

1

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Bluewater Spearfishing Basics

Bluewater spearfishing has its challenges. It is simultaneously the most boring and exciting spearfishing there is. It does require its own collection of equipment as well as techniques. 

Mental Fortitude

Bluewater spearfishing is challenging because the fish are elusive.  Pelagic species are highly migratory, live in deep water, and are fast predatory fish.  In order to target these species you have to have infinite patience while drifting through infinitely deep, blue water. There is a delayed gratification to bluewater spearfishing. Typically, you spend eight to ten hours a day drifting over structure you will never see, hoping your boat driver dropped you on the right drift. If you are lucky you will have a few seconds of excitement just seeing your target species. If you hit the jackpot those seconds of excitement are followed by either a few minutes or several hours of absolute insanity as you attempt to land a fish of a lifetime.

Bluewater Equipment

Spearfishing for Bluewater species still requires the basics you need for any freediving. It does require a couple other pieces of equipment specific to hunting these giant pelagic species. 

Speargun

The first difference is a larger speargun. Many pelagic species are wary of predation, and simply won’t get close enough to hunt with shorter spearguns. Bluewater spearguns tend to be both longer and wider.  They are larger because they need to compensate for the recoil of additional bands and larger spear shafts. For a more detailed explanation check out this article. The spear shaft used with the Bluewater gun will most likely require a slip-tip to allow the fish to fight without tearing a hole in itself.

Floats and Floatlines

After that, you will need to look into a float and floatline setup.  The type of float and floatline will be dependent on both the species as well as your own abilities. Larger fish will need multiple or larger floats as well a bungees to connect them. Smaller or more delicate fish will need smaller floats to prevent too much back pressure causing the slip-tip to pull out. For a more detailed explanation on choosing the right float and floatline check out the linked articles.

Bluewater Spearfishing Rigging and Accessories

Beyond the speargun and floats you have some choices between types of rigging as well as a few accessories that can help you land your fish a bit easier. Most bluewater spearos have adopted a breakaway setup to allow them to keep their speargun with them and to streamline their bluewater setup. For more information on that check out this article. 

One of the accessories that comes in handy to bring the fish in on your drifts is a flasher.  There are several types of flashers and all of them help. A flasher is some type of shiny object or collection of objects designed to look like bait fish in a ball. Because pelagic species are usually highly opportunistic predatory fish they often come in to check out feeding opportunities. A group of divers may try several flasher rigs within a group using flasher floats set to depth, as well as throw flashers to target specific fish as they come in. Check out this video of our throw flashers doing the job.

An often underrated pice of equipment is the floatline clutch. These large fish often will make multiple runs as you start to pull them in. A floatline clutch helps you keep the progress you have made against your fish.

Bluewater Spearfishing Techniques

Diving as a buddy group is critically important in all diving from a safety perspective.  That is never more true than in bluewater spearfishing. Working as a team helps bring in more fish because there are more people to work the flashers and flasher floats as people dive. This is also critical for safety, as bluewater spearfishing supplies its own entanglement hazards. Be ready to help your buddy no mater what happens.

Drifts

The most common form of bluewater spearfishing is drift diving. Pelagic species tend to be most active in heavy current and anchoring a boat and effectively diving in these conditions are challenging at best. It does take a competent boat driver to put a group of divers up-current of the targeted structure and monitor divers as they do their drift. A real quality boat driver can let divers keep their floats and flatlines in the water without running over the flatlines or getting them tangled in the propellers.

Anchoring Up

If you are anchored up in an area without too much current you may have the option to chum. A warning about chum; you will encounter several sharks. A combination of sand, menhaden oil, oatmeal flakes, ground or chunked up fish, and glass minnows if you can find them, are a sure way to bring fish up into the water column. It is also a sure way to bring in sharks too. 

Research

Learn about the species you are targeting. Research what depths they tend to swim. Determine if moon phase or water temperature impact how the fish act. Try and identify reasons or signals of where the fish may aggregate. If bait is hitting the surface or birds are chasing bait at the surface that may be an indicator of pelagic species chasing bait fish near the surface where divers may be able to reach them. Bluewater spearfishing is a great opportunity to become more familiar with fish behavior through research combined with your own experiences. 

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Reading Fish Behavior: Identifying What The Fish is Going to Do

The short version is that every fish species acts differently, and individual fish within a species will adapt as well. With experience, there are strategies we can learn that improve our ability to read fish behavior and get closer to all fish species. There are also broad categories for types of fish that can help determine how a given species may act. There are other factors that may impact how fish may act. For example, frequency the fish is hunted in a given area, or time of year are both factors that can influence how a fish can be expected to act. Ultimately, your experiences will dictate how you interact with certain species of fish.

Reef Fish Behavior

Reef fish are generally fish found towards the bottom of structure. Grouper and Snapper are common examples of reef fish within the United States. Sea Trout and Job Fish are example in Australia and other parts of the Pacific. No matter where you are in the world there are always a  few species that are easy (or easier) to hunt. We will focus on species that tend to be harder to hunt. 

Large reef fish tend to be weary of new arrivals to their environment. There are two broad actions you can expect most reef fish to do. They will either swim away, or be curious. If they are curious the best thing you can do is be still on the bottom and try and wait them out. Use a rock to hide behind for a better opportunity. If they are swimming away you have two main options. You can either try and chase them down, or you can call your dive and try and approach the fish from another direction. For a more in depth breakdown of the best method to do this check out the Hunting Techniques blog post and skip to the “Cone of Death” section.

Pelagic Fish Behavior

Pelagic species can be a bit harder to read in the water. Because they are more rarely seen in a day of diving it is easy to forget about hunting techniques and to just try and run them. This usually results in the fish getting spooked and swimming away faster than you have any hope in catching up. The best thing to do with most blue water species, like Wahoo, is to take a calm breath and try to create an intersecting path with the fish. Body language is everything when spearfishing. In simple terms you want to be the sea turtle instead of the shark. Not to sound too corny, but you almost have to lie to yourself and think that you don’t want to kill the fish. If you believe it the fish may believe it, and that can help you close the distance. 

Overlapping Species

There are highly migratory species that tend to congregate on reefs as they move through an area. Mackerel are a common species that can be found on normal reef structure during certain times of year. These species tend to turn into targets of opportunity. Some of these species can come through and you may be lucky to see them ever again, so you may have to take advantage of them coming through quickly. Other species may simply do large loops on structure. Cobia are an excellent example on some shipwrecks. It is common for cobia to do large circles outside a bait ball on a shipwreck. When they do this you can just try and make an intersecting path with them and wet within range of the fish to close the deal. 

Other Factors

There are countless factors that impact how fish behave. Below is a description of a few common factors and how they can impact fish behavior and hunting technique.

Spawns

As we mentioned earlier, there are several factors that can impact how a fish can behave. One of the biggest factors that can change behavior is a fish spawn. Spawns are different for most species of fish. Many fish species have evolved to have mass spawns to improve the likelihood of successful breeding. That means that during certain times of years there tend to be large aggregations of a given fish species in one location and they tend to be focused on breeding rather than avoiding predation. This can afford a diver the opportunity to hunt large fish of a given species where a fish may not be as focused on avoiding the diver. There is the moral issue of knowing you are taking advantage of the fish, but that comes down to the individual diver and what they are comfortable with. Other species tend to show up around other spawns as well because the spawn acts as chum in the water.

Moon Phase

Moon phase is a common consideration for fish behavior. It often dictates when some species spawn. The moon also impacts tides and currents. Tides and currents are an under appreciated element of fish behavior. Fish tend to be more active the stronger the current and the more water that is moving. Fish tend to move up current because of the nutrients that are moving into their area. Strong currents defiantly can make for challenging dive conditions, but they do usually afford more opportunities for shooting fish.

Thermoclines 

A thermocline is a dramatic difference in water temperature. This can impact how bait fish and other species behave. Often times fish will sit just above or just below the thermocline. This means you can plan to hunt a species by identifying how they are going to act on that day. Typically the thermoclines get colder as you get deeper, so you may be able to identify if the given species prefers warmer or colder water and target them in the window they prefer. There can also be dramatic differences in visibility between two thermoclines. Water temperature is defiantly a driving factor in how certain species behave. 

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Keeping the Boat Organized and Safe on Dive Trips

It does not matter how big of a boat you have dive trips always turn it into a mess of gear all over the deck. There is no way around it, it is just a reality of diving. The best thing to do is to have a plan and try and keep everyone organized as best you can. Here are some ideas on keeping the boat organized and safe on dive trips.

Gear Bags for Keeping the Boat Organized

Gear bags are one of the most underrated components of keeping your equipment organized. Bags can range from a quality fin bag that has some extra storage for other equipment, to a solid duffle bag that can hold all of your gear plus a spare of everything. Finally, there are speargun bags that are designed for travel and to be out on a bouncy panga keeping your equipment protected and organized. All of these bags have their benefits based of the type of diving you are doing. If you are going out on a buddies center console, where storage is limited, try and keep your gear simple. Bring a bag that breaks down and fits in a small space once you have your gear where you need it.

Speargun Racks

One of the best investment you can add to your own boat is plenty of speargun racks. These tend to be available in two varieties, horizontal and vertical. The vertical racks work well if you have the space to safely add them to your boat. Horizontal racks have the benefit of being able to be place under a boat’s gunnels. They can additionally hold fishing rods if that is also a hobby of yours. Having proper storage dramatically reduces the chance of injury from just laying the spearguns on the deck. If you have spent enough time spearing on boats you have probably kicked a spear shaft laying on a boat deck. Needless to say, it messes up your day immediately and dramatically changes the mood on the boat. 

Baskets and Buckets

For bluewater spearfishing baskets or buckets change the game on gear storage. They still take up a bunch of deck space. Baskets keep floatlines and floats organized and easy to deploy. If you’ve ever been on a boat with a bunch of people using floatlines without a system it turns into a tangled mess. Baskets go a long way in keeping the boat organized.